Southside’s Them Dirty Roses blossom in Music City

Pictured above,Them Dirty Roses perform during a hazy night at Southside City Fest on Saturday, July 19. Pictured above,Them Dirty Roses perform during a hazy night at Southside City Fest on Saturday, July 19.

By Lindsay Seagraves/News Editor

“Every Rose has its Thorn.”

Them Dirty Roses, however, don’t seem a thorn in Nashville’s side, as they’re taking Music City, USA by storm with their unmistakable southern down home rock and roll sound. 

Southside musicians James Ford, Frank Ford, Ben Crain and Andrew Davis make up a rock band unique to the Coosa Valley, as each of their music styles reflect their Alabama roots. 

“We’re just Southern down home rock music,” said Ford, the band’s lead singer. 

Ford is a multi-instrumentalist who plays the guitar, drums and piano. He’s been dabbling in rock and roll since high school, when he started his first band, Covered Bridge, and his second, Dazed. 

Gathering a fan base in bars across Gadsden and Jacksonville, any venue Ford and his band played brought a crowd anticipating nothing short of a full-blown rock concert. 

Described as being known to “breed a fire across the audience,” Ford works his uniquely personal crowd interaction that has gained him so many fans.  

Ford established Them Dirty Roses in 2012 when he joined Ford, the band’s drummer; Crain, bass player; and Davis, guitar player, at their first performance on December 21 at Tu’kanoos in Gadsden. The band now calls Nashville their home.

During an interview with Ford and younger brother Frank, the sound-alikes shared why they’ve stayed true to their Southern rock roots in a town influenced heavily by country music.

“We grew up on classic rock and roll,” they explained.

Frank, much like his brother, has been expressing his own type of music for 12 years. His drum style being heavily influenced by the 70’s, he’s known for giving the crowd a show-stopping solo everyone can dig.

The brotherly duo said, “Ben Crain is definitely the craziest one of the group who can get a crowd going like none of us; and Andrew has a sound that is just…cool. His guitar solos are unbelievable.”

The Roses say they have a brotherhood among them all, which is obvious on stage.   

When asked how the band decided on the unique name, Ford’s knack for story telling kicked in. 

“[A friend] and I were actually walking down Broadway [Street in Nashville], and this homeless man was trying to sell us what he kept calling roses, but were just dirty flowers at $10 a piece,” he explained. “We were like, ‘We’re not going to buy these $10 dirty roses’, you know, and the name just stuck, so we kept it.”

With tour venues in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, Them Dirty Roses can look to big things. 

On Saturday, June 14 they signed a development deal with Big Foot Music and Outdoors, a record label based out of Nashville.

“Everything lately has been really good for us,” said Ford. “We’ve started to get a pretty good fan base here in Nashville and we’re excited about Big Foot; they’ve got things in the works so hopefully next year we’ll be going on more tours.” 

Frank also joined in the excitement, saying, “We’re gaining a bigger and bigger fan base at our shows and we want it to keep growing and get even bigger.” 

The Roses thrilled their fans back home on Saturday, July 19 when they played at Southside City Fest.  

“Pam Brasher contacted us and asked if we would play,” said Ford. 

“Which we were really excited about,” added Frank. 

Brasher said the Roses came to mind because she had seen them play before. “They were just really good,” she said. “We wanted someone different and local.”

Brasher said the Roses did an outstanding job playing at Southside City Fest and brought an “unbelievable” crowd.

Fans posted comments on the band’s Facebook page after the event such as, “You guys rocked…glad you brought it home to Alabama!”; “Absolutely amazing; loved it all!”; “Saw y’all last night in Southside and loved it.”

Them Dirty Roses will be at the Chestnut Station in Gadsden on Saturday, August 2. 

For more information about Them Dirty Roses and upcoming tour dates, visit or 

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